How to Make Tongue & Groove with a Table Saw
There are a lot of joint cues in woodworking, and a popular one is tongue and groove. I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, and I'm going to show you how to cut a tongue and groove joint on a table saw. The first thing we're going to do is set up our dado head and we're going to cut, I've got mine set up to cut a quarter inch wide joint. So, we are using three-quarter stock. Basically we are going to have quarter, quarter, quarter for our joint. And that will make sense as we are cutting you'll see how that comes together. The next thing we are going to do is we are going to set our blade height and today we are going to set it at three-eighths of an inch and give us a nice strong joint and then we're going to set our fence and for the first cut the groove, we're going to set it at a quarter of an inch. Like I said that will give us a quarter of an inch on one side, a quarter inch groove and a quarter inch on the third side. We're going to go ahead and make the groove cut. Once that's cut you'll run all the stock you are going to cut that with, you will run it all at the same time. One thing I like to do when I am making the groove cut is just to make sure it is completely centered is to make one pass, turn the stock around 180 degrees and make a second pass. It may affect the width of our joint which isn't a big deal at this point but that's going to insure that it's dead center which makes it easier as we go along in the assembly phase. Once we have got our grooves cut we can go ahead and readjust our stock to make the tongues. We are going to readjust our fence. We are going to set it at a half inch and for the first cut I'm actually going to set it a little bit wide because we are going to make our first pass. Again flip the stock 180 degrees, make our second pass and we'll check the fit and at this point you want it to be tight, even large is better and if you have scrap wood of the same thickness it's always best to set up your cuts with scrap stock and then what we'll do is we'll adjust our fence so we get a nice snug fit. You don't want it to be too tight because if you can't put it together by hand when you add the glue, there's going to be a lot of fighting to get that together. You want it to be snug. You also don't want it to be too loose because glue won't fill that gap and you'll get a weak joint. So, that's how to cut a tongue and groove on a table saw. I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.